Place, Inclusion and Equity

Promote environmental equity and social cohesion

Shape socially and culturally inclusive

Improve health through place & landscape intervention

Belonging is contested. Spaces that seek to be inclusive can also, through their design, exclude. The Place, Inclusion and Equity research cluster is dedicated to promoting environmental equity and social cohesion. Our research aims to shape culturally and socially inclusive places through landscape planning, design and management. We aim to understand how people’s health and wellbeing, throughout their lives, can be both positively and negatively impacted by aspects of space and landscape.

Cluster Members

Researchers who specialise in Place, Inclusion and Equity are listed below. Click on individual profiles to explore their work futher:

Mel Burton

Burton, Ms Mel
University Teacher

Dr Nicola Dempsey

Dempsey, Dr Nicola

Dr Anna Jorgensen

Jorgensen, Prof Anna
Head of Department

Clare Rishbeth

Rishbeth, Dr Clare

James Simpson

Simpson, Dr James

Dr Kevin Thwaites

Thwaites, Dr Kevin
Senior Lecturer

Ms Helen Woolley

Woolley, Ms Helen
Reader in Landscape Architecture and Society

Featured Projects

The Bench Project

The Bench Project

This research focuses on locations where people often 'hang out': the act of everyday sitting on a bench or low wall. The project explored the stories of people using benches in public spaces and questions how they provide places for social interaction. The research also explored aspects of confrontation and control: investigating, for example, how the removal of benches is at odds with understanding of mental, physical and social wellbeing.

Find out more

Reflecting on the river

Reflecting on the River

Many cities have developed on and around rivers as they are important elements for transport, trade and fishing. There are multiple perspectives and narratives of rivers which may differ over time as cities become increasingly urbanised. This project aims to deepen understandings of the cultural role of the river for residents in urbanising India. It will reflect on the role of the river as cultural heritage and as a setting for cultural practices.

Discover more about this project

Plot based urbanism

Plot-based urbanism

Plot-based urbanism is a new way to approach urban design. Instead of large, homogenous developments, plot-based urbanism advocates the small plot as key to sustainable urban growth. By viewing the city as a connected series of small, individual plots, which will allow a greater variety of development to take place, plot-based urbanism aims to create cities which are both more sustainable and democratic.

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Seminar Series

The Place, Inclusion and Equity research cluster seminar series will present the research profiles of the each member of the cluster as well as provide space for discussion and development of ideas. The seminars may be of particular interest to postgraduate research students.

Date Name Topic
20.10.15 Dr Nicola Dempsey There's Always The River: Social and Environmental Equity in Rapidly Urbanising Landscapes in India
17.11.15 Ms Helen Woolley Nature: Jeckyll and Hyde of children's environments?
16.02.16 Ms Clare Rishbeth Design for Inclusion: Urban benches as a resource for sociability and respite
26.04.16 Kevin Thwaites Centre for Socially Restorative Urbanism: a manifesto for change
16.01.17 Professor Robert Gifford Urban Design, Quality of Life and Pro-Environmental Behaviour

Affilated PhD Students

  • Wafa Al Madani
  • Wan Azlina Binti Wan Ismail
  • Linyan Dai
  • Ebru Ersoy
  • Farnaz Ganji
  • Hao Lei
  • Alison Lowe
  • Maryam Mani
  • Mahsa Mohajer
  • Jinvo Nam
  • Adetoyese Oyedemi
  • James Simpson
  • Pai Tang
  • Kaeren Van Vliet
  • Goran Vodicka
  • Megan Waller
  • Junfang Xie
  • Qin Xu
  • Youmei Zhou


Some of the organisations who have collaborated in Place, Inclusion and Equity research are: